12 Dec 2006

Bond market transparency: To regulate or not to regulate

Jean-Pierre Casey

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This ECMI Policy Brief attempts to contribute to the ongoing policy debate on MiFID art. 65.1, which tasks the Commission with conducting a study to report on whether the trade transparency requirements that currently apply to share trading ought to be extended to non-equity markets. It presents the pros and cons of introducing greater transparency into the marketplace, including a model on the possible impact of increasing transparency. The paper also highlights the insufficient level of data available to market participants and regulators on volumes and aggregate bond market activity, as well as the lack of appropriate information made available to retail investors, suggesting that dealers may have little time to come up with a solution, and that an industry code of conduct may be an appropriate avenue – and one preferable to legislative initiatives – for introducing more transparency uniformly (within each fixed income asset class) across the EU.

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